Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 67

safety. They are putting in place Memoranda of Understandings and policies to clearly define roles and responsibilities, collecting and tracking data regarding referrals and arrests, and holding all parties accountable. Here are a few examples where reform is beginning to take hold: Los Angeles School Police Department Issues New Policy and Protocols to Significantly Reduce Student Citations and Arrests In 2009, Los Angeles’ School Police Department issued more than 11,600 citations and arrested more than 1,470 students. After hearing from students and parents about the harsh impacts, Community Rights Campaign (CRC), Public Counsel and other community organizations led a push for citation and arrest reforms. The effort led the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles School Police Department, the nation’s largest school police force, to drastically change their policies in 2012 regarding citation of students who were late or absent from school. Despite this major reform, data showed that in the City of Los Angeles alone, the LASPD had still arrested nearly 1,100 students in 2013; 94.5% of these arrests were issued to students of color. 39% of school fighting citations (disturbing the peace) had been issued to black students. With CRC’s strong advocacy and support from Public Counsel, the LASPD collaborated to issue policies in 2013 stopping citations for young students, 13 and younger and for disturbing the peace. And, in August 2014, after more than two years of work with community, the LASPD issued a comprehensive diversion policy related to arrests and citations for minor incidents that breaks new ground in the state and the nation. The new LASPD policy requires most school fights between students — approximately 20% of all student arrests — to be addressed through interventions at an off-site YouthSource or WorkSource Center. It also requires the majority of student incidents that previously led to a citation to appear in court or to a direct Probation referral, like trespassing, tobacco possession, or damage to school property, to be referred to school officials or a YouthSource Center to receive positive school discipline interventions, which are part of District policy. The overall policy changes have already led to dramatic annual decreases in citations, from 11,698 (2009-10) and 10,719 (2010-11) to 7,740 (2011-12) and 3,499 (2012-13). At the same time, graduation and attendance rates have gone up in the District! San Francisco Schools Act to Reduce Arrests after Community Exposes Racial Gap In San Francisco, data collected by community revealed that African-American young people were 39% of all students arrested on campus from 20102013, even though they are just 8% of San Francisco students. African-American students also accounted for 43% of all juvenile arrests by SFPD in that same period. Records showed dozens of students arrested as young as ages 8-12. Working closely with SFUSD school district leadership and police officials, Public Counsel and Coleman Advocates for Children & Youth led a successful effort to begin a change of course on arrests and reduce the impact on AfricanAmerican students. In February of 2014, school Board members approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the San Francisco Police Department and San Francisco Unified School District that requires a strong data collection and analysis system to be in place; puts a limit on police involvement in student discipline that can and should be handled at school; sets up a system of graduated responses for police, starting with a warning, for low-level offenses; and ensures parents can be present when students are interviewed by police on campus, among other major reforms. Oakland Groups Win Agreement with City Police and Reforms to District Policies to Curb School-to-Prison Pipeline In September of 2014, the Black Organizing Project in partnership with Public Counsel and the ACLU of Northern California secured a Memorandum of Understanding between city police and the Oakland Unified School District to create clear roles and responsibilities for police operating on Oakland campuses under a federal COPs grant. 65